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Who Is the Seller?

The person(s) registered on title should be shown as the Sellers in the Agreement and all should sign the offer. A non-titled spouse should also sign the Offer and closing documents for a transfer of a Matrimonial Home except in limited circumstances. If this is not possible and one of the registered owners or spouses is selling by Power of Attorney the Power of Attorney must include a power to sell the property (most do, but if in doubt check or have the vendor’s lawyer check). An original or Notarized copy should be provided to the vendor’s lawyer before closing. Where an agreement is being signed under Power of Attorney, the agreement should clearly so indicate. We suggest the following wording:

“Mr. Smith, as attorney for Mrs. Smith” or “Mrs. Smith, by her attorney, Mr. Smith” – where Mr. Smith is the attorney for Mrs. Smith.

If one of the owners has passed away you should determine if the owners held title as Joint Tenants or as Tenants In Common. This will be on the Deed or can be determined by a simple subsearch. If title was held as Joint Tenants then it will automatically pass to the survivor without the need for a court application. The vendor’s lawyer will prepare an application to place title in the name of the survivor. This is a simple procedure which does not require much time or a court application. However, the Death Certificate will be required. In these cases you would list the surviving owner as the seller. If title was held by two people as Tenants In Common and one passes away, or by one person who has passed away, an application to the courts must be made to appoint an Executor, whether or not there is a Will. This can be time consuming and sufficient time must be allowed for closing (ask the Estate lawyer). In these cases the seller should be listed as “The Estate of …” and the executors of the Estate should sign the offer and all closing documents.